As I write this, we are well into 2017 & for me, it has turned out to be as filled with house/pet sitting challenges & adventures as the last year. Christmas in Wrenthorpe with Eric was punctuated by a delightful Boxing Day visit from my son & daughter-in-law, which I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy if I’d stayed down south.
Having enough sits in the north of England has enabled me to explore Cheshire, Derbyshire & bits of Staffordshire, places I had only dashed through via motorways on the way to & from other destinations. I would exhort everyone to pay a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum where you can spend a delightful if poignant day. It was thought-provoking enough for me to consider a memorial for my late brother who gave his youth in service to his country, including the Falklands campaign which meant he missed my wedding, & who otherwise would have no other marker to his life.
Knutsford (Canute’s-ford..you learn something new every day!) is lovely but marred by very low planes, as is the nearby quaint little hamlet of Bostock Green, so it was a surprise to me to find that my Wilmslow sit, although nearer to the airport, was so quiet! I thoroughly enjoyed coaxing the fearful rescue Wheaton Terrier outside for the first time in her life to sample some lovely walks. The kangaroo-hopping soon settled down much to the relief of her long-suffering bichon companion.
I have had some void days, putting the microcamper to good use but less & less for the purposes of wild camping. Not only am I getting older & stiffer (dislocating my shoulder in October hasn’t helped!), those nooks & crannies that I used to come across quite regularily are becoming harder to locate. Much to my chagrin, I have had to admit defeat & join the Caravan & Camping Club to access their network of sites. Mind you, that’s no guarantee of comfort – I’d found wild camps with more facilities than the muddy field with tap & elsan; I shan’t name the farm site that had something brown in the water tap hose & Delamere Forest site vibrates with the train traffic. O, well, no such thing as Paradise this side of Heaven!
The rest of the year looms delightfully large in my house/pet sitting sights, although that fluctuates when a sit surprises with the reality of undisclosed dog-on-dog aggression, incontinence, pulling etc but for now it is back to Ashbourne, then Denton…bring it on!